Academic Year 2012-13

DJ Bolger, PhD
University of Maryland, College Park

The Brain Might Read That Way

In this talk, I will construct a framework for understanding the development of reading ability in children based on research on reading acquisition and disability. This framework postulates that the growth of reading skill results from enhanced coordination and interactivity of brain regions involved in the visual (spelling), auditory (sound), and semantic (meaning) constituents of word processing. I will present data from a cross-sectional study of spelling-sound sensitivity in typically-achieving and impaired readers ages 8-15 using functional MRI. I will also present fMRI data suggesting that instruction of spelling-sound relationships enhances learning outcomes and subsequent activity in the reading network compared to holistic word form instruction. Lastly, I will argue that executive processing may underlie some of the basic deficits in reading failure and provide evidence that these general cognitive abilities may be enhanced through training. These findings have theoretical and practical implications for understanding reading ability, disability, and instruction in the developing brain.

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Where: MLC (Library) B111
When: September 13, 2012
Time: 4:00-5:30 PM